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more of a media essay than a politics one - The Rise and Fall of McCarthyism An explanation of how the Media created and then destroyed Joseph McCarthy INTRODUCTION The US Senator Joseph Raymond McCarthy was born in Grand Chute Wisconsin Nov14 1908 and died May 2 1957 Grolier 1996 was best known for his attacks on alleged Communist subversion most notably within the administrations of the Presidents Harry S Truman and Dwight D Eisenhower The activities of McCarthy and his followers gave birth to the term McCarthyism This term is used in reference to sensational and highly publicized personal attacks usually based on unsubstantiated charges as a means of discrediting people thought to be subversiveGrolier 1996 McCarthy before February of 1950 was by no means a distinguished legislator He held the attention of the United States by arguing that the State Department was riddled with card-carrying members of the Communist PartyRovere1959p128 McCarthy was shrewd in his manipulation of the media and well recognized for his skills in Public Relations He used these abilities to take advantage of the growing public frustration with the eastern Communist movement and moved from one charge to another McCarthy barraged his opposition with accusations and evaded demands for tangible proof as he developed a loyal following With the support of many Republicans he accused the administrations of Roosevelt and Truman with twenty years of treasonGrolier 1996 After his reelection in 1952 McCarthy directed similar accusations at the Eisenhower administration from a new post as head of the Senates Government Operations Committee and its permanent investigations subcommittee Eventually he was discredited by the lack of substance in his claims of Communist penetration in the US army through the nationally televised Army-McCarthy hearings in 1954 On December 21954 the Senate voted to condemn him for conduct contrary to Senatorial traditions The final vote was 67-22 From this point forward
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